Depression is a Demon, Acknowledge It
Endless working hours, lack of sleep, pollution around us and uneven eating patterns rule our generation. When illness strikes it does not look around for the fact whether you are rich or poor, a common man or a celebrity. It hits you hard, below the belt and either takes you down or transforms you entirely but the ones that survive and emerge, winners, are the true divas in my eyes. I feel, as a celebrity, if you talk about issues in the open, others struggling from it get hope and get inspired to share their issues and tackle them as well. Today, I want to discuss something that is very close to my heart, an illness that is often misunderstood, not treated and put under wraps. The taboo word that we avoid is DEPRESSION!!
Manisha Koirala was a sensation of her times. I remember watching her movies and awing at her flawless features as a kid. We all know she battled cancer but did you that she also suffered clinical depression? Both of these transformed her life and she stopped taking her body and her health for granted. Being a celebrity and on top of her game, she ignored all early signs of her disease and problems. Shaken she started eating healthy, moved towards wellness and removed all the negative energy surrounding her. For me, she is a winner as she not only went through two most feared issues in her life she had the strength to openly talk about her issues. Now she speaks on various forums discussing her issues and motivating other women to take care of themselves as women, in general, put their health in the last order of their preference.
Discussing her return to health, she has shared the secrets of her recovery with her fans. A typical day starts with meditation, followed by a good book or article. She then dedicates an hour to walking and yoga and regularly visits the gym. Her diet has also drastically affected her good health- she has started making her own vegetable juices and starts every day with a healthy breakfast of cereals and nuts. In a recent article, she discussed that after her cancer treatment, she felt that she looked like an alien and with a steady dedication to health, she is now set to play famed actress Nargis Dutt in her latest biopic- a true return to good health- both mentally and physically.
CLINICAL DEPRESSION is a Clinical Disorder that doesn’t see age, social-status or gender.
It’s something very common in every household. But we normally tend to hide it and not come forward and seek help. And if we know there is someone in the family with the mental illness, we always like to put it under the carpet. We need to take professional help. If there is an ailment, there is no harm in taking help. If there is a problem or any kind of challenge like physical, mental, there is always a cure waiting provided you want that healing for yourself. -http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
The other actress who I cannot ignore while we are discussing depression is Deepika Padukone. She was the first celebrity to talk about it openly and while it came as a shock to her followers initially she gained much more like me, who admire her now for more than her looks. She did not realize when it struck her. In one of her shoots she fainted and she thought it was stress, she kept a brave front even in front of her parents but when the hollow feel and anxiety didn’t go she talked to a psychologist who suggested her medication. She still avoided medication for a long time as she believed that she could talk to the psychologist and treat herself. But it didn’t go smoothly, there were days she would be fine and then it would be a tirade of emotions flying here and there. Finally, she got a second opinion and started taking medication and she improved. She made sure to seek support from the social structure around her and paid more attention to what she ate and her workouts. When a friend committed suicide due to depression she decided to come out in the open share about her experiences. She not only talked about it, she went ahead and established a website and centre to help people battling depression.
I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from the lack of concentration and I broke down often.
Deepika is now one of the most vocal advocates for mental health, she leads an extremely active lifestyle with a focus on cardio, Pilates and strength training. Yoga has played a key role in her wellness- it helps her relax while also giving her space for contemplation and meditation. She has mentioned in interviews that it calms her down. She stretches through the day, even while shooting and helps her connect with something deep inside. Her healthy lifestyle, with the right medical help and mental health advocacy has not only impacted her own trajectory to stardom but has opened up a discussion on depression as a condition.
There are many of us who are silently fighting this battle, many of us who don’t even realise it. Depression can creep in at any stage in life be it at the stage you are a teenager and feel unwanted, postpartum depression in new moms or the one that hits you during menopause. I am sure there can be many more forms. We, women, need to care for ourselves, let’s draw inspiration from these two strong women here and take our health and our lives in our hands now. Let’s help those we see struggling around us. Let’s acknowledge the demon, let’s give it a name and let’s treat it like an illness. When you have a fever you have a pill to cure it, why not treat depression?
It all starts with one small step – a change of mindset, a call to action! If you want to live a life unbound, it’s time to take the bull by the horns and put your health- both physical and mental, first. Aditya Birla Health is running a campaign that does just that. It tells the stories of three diverse individuals- a Paralympic athlete, a senior citizen marathon runner and a cancer survivor. Each of them took the pledge to put health first and made a huge difference to their own lives, while also inspiring others to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
So, why not take a step towards a #BehadZindagi today – for everyone? Find out more about their stories and share your own here.
Let’s see what Shubda Malhotra, our expert panellist has to say on depression.
“One of the triggers of stress & depression is the discrepancy between expectations placed on an individual and ones ability to cope up with these demands. These expectations people place on them or sometimes benchmarks they set for themselves and get caught in the web of depression.
Incidence of depression is skewed toward females; we are more prone to it. Biological, environmental and psychological aspects may interact to create women’s greater vulnerability to depression. It is important that we notice some warning signals of depression our family & friends may exhibit. We know it takes immense courage & dedication to reach out to such people.These symptoms have to discuss & reported to mental health professionals in order to facilitate timely intervention.”
Shubda is highly skilled, compassionate and solution oriented mental health professional.She is dedicated to providing exceptional care and implementing effective treatment plans for individuals facing challenges impending their well being & growth in personal & professional life. Effective motivator, life skills trainer & an articulate communicator with an ability to manage all types of personalities & age groups.